5 Star Route

Just the trip up Old Moody Road is reason enough to do this ride:  a gravel road with an eagle view of the Columbia River. Then the route rolls into farmlands that are sprinkled with history: old farm buildings and schoolhouses that are just fun photo ops.  

Overall, this route is a spinning delight with four jagged climbs (i.e., teeth) to keep you grinning.  It’s a nice mixture of big open hay fields, cow pastures, rocky formations, and streams buried into the thick of alder, ash, and cottonwood trees. The route never goes very high, making it a possibility when everything else is snowed in.  And there’s enough pavement to keep all the roadies in the group happy.   

But we will warn you that the start is a tough one: a steep climb right out of the parking lot that pops up to 16% on gravel. If you are an optimist, you will say it is a quick way to take the chill out of the air. If you are an overachiever, you will laugh and scream, “Bring it on!” And if you are a complainer, it will give you something to bitch about right at the start.  

Adventure / Gravel Route

Lollipop: 51 miles / 3800 ft gain
– Surface: ~ 45% gravel , 55% paved
eBike Friendly: Yes
– Location: ~ 20 minutes east of The Dalles, Oregon
– Published: September 2020

Technical Difficulty & Risk[what this means]

Moderate+ due to (a) the steep initial pitch (up to 16%) on Old Moody road that climbs 600 feet in just over a mile and (b) the 2 mile section of rugged gravel on Mason road from miles 23 to 26. Thus, there are 5 miles (Old Moody road on the outgoing and incoming for a total of 2 miles) that are demanding of the 50.

When we like to ride this …

This is a ride that “goes” almost all year round as the max elevation is just under 1500 feet. Thus, on a warmish February day, this is a good choice. We really like this ride in late spring when the creeks run full, the hills are covered in green, and the flowers are in bloom.

The Start

Deschutes River State Recreation site. Flush toilets. Water. Requires a state park pass or a daily permit, which can be purchased on site. An alternative parking site is to drive along the route to the top of the climb on Old Moody Road at about the 2 mile mark. By parking here, you will bypass the steep initial climb.
Lat / Long: 45.631640, -120.908834 (Alternative start: 45.632341, -120.931548)

Food / Water


Go Local!

For the after ride make the short drive east to The Dalles and check out one of the breweries or wineries. For a full list of attractions, restaurants, and events check out the Travel Oregon page.

Ride Details

**Click to Read More


Wahoo / Garmin Direct Download
Cue Sheet / GPX FileTCX File


Red = paved road
Brown = gravel / dirt road

For help with Ride, GPS files, etc see the “Help with …” page. To learn how to download the routes for free, see “Using Our Routes …” page.

Ridden and Reviewed by …

Gravel Girl / Team Dirty Freehub

She loves a good day of gravel like most people like a good book. She’s always amused by the outdoors and the wild adventures. Gravel Girl is a Co-Founder of Dirty Freehub.

Captain O / Team Dirty Freehub

He should have “Never Stop Exploring” tattooed on his chest! He loves adventures on bikes and is a Co-Founder of Dirty Freehub.

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